Fr. René Butler MS - 1st Sunday of Lent - Beware...
Beware the Tempter (1st Sunday of Lent: Genesis 2:7-9 & 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11) When the celebrant washes his hands at the end of the offertory, he says, “Wash me, O Lord, from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.” As he is... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 7th Ordinary Sunday -...
Holiness (7th Ordinary Sunday: Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18; 1 Corinthians 3:16-23; Matthew 5:38-48) “Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.” This sentence occurs four times in the Book of Leviticus. Observe the reason given for the command. It is... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 6th Ordinary Sunday -...
Hammer and Pincers (6th Ordinary Sunday: Sirach 15:15-20; 1 Corinthians 2:6-10; Matthew 5:17-37) Among the most distinctive features of the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette, as you well know, are the hammer and pincers on either side of the crucifix. We are... Czytaj więcej
Father Superior General's visit to Portugal
Father Silvano Marisa, our Superior General, went to Portugal to visit our confreres of the Province of Angola who are working in this country. He was accompanied by Father Paulo Banga during this trip. They left Rome on Tuesday January 21. In addition to the visit to... Czytaj więcej
Meditation for the Year of Vocations: The La...
The La Salette Missionary - A Prophet Do we have the courage today to call ourselves prophets? Mary comes to La Salette precisely in a prophetic spirit. Mary, like other prophets, loves her people and suffers when they turn away from God. Like the prophets, the... Czytaj więcej
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Fr. René Butler MS - 30th Ordinary Sunday - Whole-truth Prayer

Whole-truth Prayer

(30th Ordinary Sunday: Sirach 35:12-18; 2 Timothy 4:6-18; Luke 18:9-14)

The Pharisee in today’s famous parable is not making anything up, but telling the truth about his good deeds: he has indeed gone above and beyond the call of duty.

The tax collector doesn’t list his sins. By the nature of his job as an agent of the hated Roman occupiers, he is a “public” sinner. That is enough for the Pharisee to draw the odious—and false—comparison between himself and the other man.

Our Lady of La Salette described her own unceasing prayer on our behalf. It is easy to imagine her taking the words of the tax collector and paraphrasing them: “O God, be merciful to them, sinners that they are.”

Last week’s readings helped us focus on prayer, on the need to pray always and well. This week adds another notion with respect to the quality of our prayer: honesty.

We hear today St. Paul’s celebrated words: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Isn’t he boasting, like the Pharisee? No, because time and time again he makes it clear that it is only by God’s grace that he has been able to accomplish anything. “To him be glory forever and ever,” he writes.

The Pharisee begins his prayer with “O God, I thank you,” but everything that follows shows that he is not really glorifying God but himself, and drawing the conclusion that he is better than others. His “truth” is not the “whole truth.”

When Mary reminds us of our faults, she isn’t saying that we are worse than anyone else. The only comparison to be made is with her Son. On her breast we see him crucified, suffering for our sake, and in our place.

The reading from Sirach, where we hear, “The Lord is not deaf to the wail of the orphan,” reminds me of a lovely 2010 song, “Better than a Hallelujah.” It begins:

   God loves a lullaby
   In a mother’s tears in the dead of night
   Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

Surely God loves Mary’s tears at La Salette, soul-born, whole-truth tears shed for all her people.

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